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Clairvoyance vs Cash: How to Spot a Fraud

There are con-people in any line of business, but with psychics, it is harder than with most professions to spot a fraud.

When an 81-year-old woman became separated from her husband of 56 years, she wound up paying $900 to a company called Psychic Readings by Lauren. The psychic seemed friendly, and she was promised reimbursement if her husband never returned, but when he didn’t, the woman found it impossible to get her money back.

According to IBISWorld, the psychic industry takes $2 billion per year in the US alone. With the above story in mind, we decided to take a further look to see just how often this was garnered through fraudulent means.

Indeed, experts in the field acknowledge that there is a great deal of issues when it comes to spotting a fraud. The charlatans of the industry apparently coax information from their customers and then lead them into making higher payments to provide solutions.

Real psychics, however, don’t work like that; they operate through vibrations, and conversation is barely ever necessary. Simply put, inquisitive ‘psychics’ should be avoided at all costs.

If you’re having a reading, allow the psychic to point out some specific details about your life, but only provide brief answers that do not lead them on too much—if they’re a charlatan, they will come up with nothing. Psychics also usually con people out of money by telling them they are cursed.

Michelle Beltran, who charges $405 for 45-minute sessions, was named Psychic of the Year in 2017 by Best American Psychics; if you are not paying, she does not speak. Jusstine Kenzer, on the other hand, is a Los Angeles–based psychic who charges $375/session, and also remarked that a fake psychic will tell you that you are cursed and that they can remove the hex for a certain price.

She also stated that psychic readings are guidance, and that they are meant to inspire, not cure.

This is not licensed work, to be sure, but professional psychics can certainly be penalized for illegal business practices. A phone-reading company was fined $5 million in 2002 when it turned out they were charging $4.99/minute, with the employees being ordered to keep the phone calls going for ridiculous lengths of time.

According to Yelp reviews, many other customers have run afoul of Psychic Readings by Lauren. One customer was ordered to pay $1,000 to remove a hex on her romantic life. Her $100 deposit, for the first session, was never returned. Another customer was ordered to sleep with $7,000 in physical cash in her bed; she didn’t, because she got the distinct impression that she would be robbed in the middle of the night.

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